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Media advisory: National Transportation Week begins with Robotics Challenge


The first event in a busy week of activities in celebration of National Transportation Week (May 11-15) takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 as 14 teams from eight Rhode Island middle schools compete in the 5th Annual University of Rhode Island Transportation Center Robotics Challenge.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the University of Rhode Island Transportation Center are sponsoring this event, which takes place at the URI Kingston Campus in the Memorial Union Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Media are invited to view the competition as robots built by the student teams complete a challenge course consisting of six missions such as plowing “snow” off an airport runway, raising a hurricane barrier and delivering safety barrels for a road construction site.

The Robotics Challenge also includes a poster competition with the theme of “Careers in Transportation.” Teams are free to select and research information about any particular career related to transportation. First, second, and third place awards will be given for winning teams in both the robotics challenge and the poster competition.

Students have been preparing for this competition for the past several weeks, and most belong to after-school robotics clubs. They use robotic kits based on Lego building bricks.

Participating Robotics Teams include:

• Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School of Coventry • Archie Cole Middle School and our Lady of Mercy School, East Greenwich • Barrington Middle School, Barrington • Martin Middle School and Riverside Middle School, East Providence • Monsignor Matthew F. Clarke Catholic Regional School, Wakefield • Newport Community School, Newport • Winman Junior High School, Warwick • Westerly Middle School, Westerly


DIRECTIONS: From points north, take I-95 South to Exit 9 (Route 4 South). Follow Route 4 until it merges with Route 1 South. Follow to intersection with Route 138 West. Follow Route 138 West for 3.8 miles to the University of Rhode Island entrance. Take a right onto Upper College Road. Check in at Visitor’s Center for parking pass and further directions.

Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007


Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation